How to deal with complaints and defects
How defects can lead to late payment
If the goods or services you have provided have fallen below a certain required level, your customer may decide to withhold payment until the problem has been rectified - or they might even refuse to pay you altogether. If this situation arises, it’s important for both parties to know where they stand and how they should proceed. Otherwise, a dispute can drag on and eventually end up costing even more money through legal fees and court proceedings
How can I ensure that complaints are resolved smoothly?
A properly written set of terms and conditions can be extremely useful as a way of clarifying how a complaint should be dealt with by both buyer and seller. It can detail various rights and obligations, particularly with regard to issues such as payments and refunds. In the case of service provision, a service level agreement is an excellent tool which helps avoid disagreements about exactly what level of service should be expected. When it comes to providing goods, Ts & Cs should contain a “defects” clause which explains the procedure for dealing with a situation where a defect crops up.
What happens when a third party complains about a defect?
Matters can get far more complicated if you have a business agreement with a client who is essentially a supplier or, for example, uses your component goods in their manufacturing process to produce a product which is then sold on and is found to be faulty by one of their customers. If a defect comes to light further down a customer chain, it can be difficult to know just who has the rights to claim against which party. This is when it’s very useful to put in place relevant supply of goods agreements which cover various scenarios in the case of the resale of your goods or when they are included in finished products.
Put everything in writing
Spending some time to consider the possible situations which can arise regarding potential defects in goods or problems with services can save a lot of time and money in the long run. Ensure that you have all the relevant terms and conditions in place to keep things running smoothly and avoid late or non-payment.
A variety of documents which may help with dealing with complaints and defects can be downloaded from our Business Documents Folder. Click on any relevant templates in the list, below, for further information.